This story won’t take place without pictures. Lots of moving pictures.
Let’s start with a simple request: Please watch this Hudl highlight video below of major Georgia recruiting target Luke Ford.
Ford likes Georgia (along with Alabama and others) and has already paid the program a visit. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound prospect checked out UGA on the day after he de-committed from Arkansas.
The nation’s No. 2 tight end prospect for 2018 likely will give UGA both an official and an unofficial visit.
But I digress.
The first thing to do is watch the clips from the first four games of his senior season for Carterville High in southern Illinois.
Pay very close attention to how the U.S. Army All-American handles contact. Check out the block where he puts his man on the ground in that first clip.
The first clip from another game film is more of the same. Ford lays out out another would-be tackler while his quarterback scrambles downfield.
Not bad. Imagine what he can do when he doesn’t have a broken collarbone.
“It was a fractured collarbone,” Ford said. “Now it is a break.”
Luke Ford did what with what??
That’s right. A broken clavicle. Ford, who might have visited Georgia this weekend, no longer can do so. He now has to have surgery.
“We were thinking this weekend but Luke got bad news,” his father Timothy Ford said.
As it turns out, the nation’s No. 47 overall prospect (per the 247Sports composite) played his first four games of his senior season with a fractured collarbone.
“He had X-rays after the first game and either the radiologist missed it or there was swelling that kind of obscured it,” his father said.
This is the part where one might shake his or her head. But it is also important to note here that Ford was raised in the home of a 20-year Army veteran.
His father flew Apache helicopters. So there’s a toughness that was instilled in him at an early age.
“It is a mindset,” Luke Ford said.
Yeah, but still.
“But after X-rays and an [orthopedic surgeon] visit today the fracture is clearly visible [from] four weeks ago and right now,” his father said.
Ford, the 4-star tight end, will be in a sling for about 4-6 weeks. He probably will be back for the playoffs.
His father still cringes when he thinks about it.
“Well, when he got his first X-rays after the first game they told him nothing was broken,” Timothy Ford said. “Just a bone bruise. So he thinks he just has to man up. But after the fourth game, I knew we needed another opinion.”
The schools that are recruiting him already know about it. Wherever he winds up, those schools only need to point to his early senior year film.
If Ford is ever not putting out great effort in practice, his coaches might say that he blocked better with a broken collarbone.
“I can’t imagine hitting someone full force laying someone out with a fractured clavicle,” his father said.
Ford has shown his wares in the trenches, but it is important to remember that he was a go-to target for 5-star Justin Fields at Nike’s The Opening this summer. Fields built such a rapport with Ford that the 6-foot-6 tight end told DawgNation that he really wanted to play with him in college.
— L U K E F O R D™ (@lukeredx97) July 4, 2017
Those two got to know one another during the 7-on-7 tournament which took place at Nike’s world headquarters in Oregon. Ford put in a strong showing running routes and catching passes at that event.
Of course, that took place when his collarbone was intact.
Chasing my dreams 🏈 pic.twitter.com/fgNxdsj25p
— L U K E F O R D™ (@lukeredx97) August 14, 2017